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26 Ludgate Hill
020 7236 4399
There are Francophiles behind this nationwide French brasserie group – that much is obvious. Every last detail, from the rattan terrace furniture and patterned tile floors to the bentwood chairs and mirrored walls, has been borrowed from across the Channel. But Côte isn’t backward-looking; it’s a modern interpretation of a classic concept that’s designed to suit the British market. It also ticks off all the classics when it comes to food and wine: you can always find steak-frites, moules marinière and crème caramel here, as well as the bottles of Chinon, Picpoul and even Orangina you might want to quaff with them. ‘Plat rapides’ such as hachis parmentier or poulet grillée, plus fortnightly changing specials including duck confit are useful additions to the carte, as is the ‘formule’ breakfast of full English, juice and coffee. A solid high-street presence.
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26 Ludgate Hill
020 7236 4399
City Thameslink Station 119m
Blackfriars Station 270m
Stationers' Hall 59m
Apothecaries' Hall 125m
Mon-Fri 8am-11pm Sat-Sun 9am-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
After the disastorous pre-theatre meal at another cote in Tavistock St a few months previously, it was with a degree of trepidation that I made my reservation here. "We need to leave at 7pm" I stated on both the booking request and on arrival at the restaurant - I needn't have worried. This was Cote at its best. Quick, attentive service, good plates of food (I still cannot tear myself from the poulet breton) and even in the limited time we had available, no feeling of being rushed or anxious about making our subsequent appointment. Being within easy reach of St Paul's, it certainly attracts tourist groups, but even the arrival of a large party did not detract from the service level we received. Will certainly return but would suggest that the staff here could certainly teach their colleagues in Covent Garden a thing or two about dealing with a busy service!
A nice location, a sound full english.
The staff are attentive and the no fuss attitudes go down well.
Wish they would join the Square Meal online booking tool though.
They also have a bit of a dud policy for making amendments to your booking – if you need to change days for example you have top cancel over the phone and then make a new booking online…
Surprisingly, given my thoughts on most chain restaurants, popping into a Cote brasserie for a bite to eat at the bar isn't an issue. I don't mind the Covent Garden and Soho branches, having used both as a passible lunch or afternoon meeting spot previously. However the one in the City doesn't have a bar, just a large basement space, and a set of tables along one wall, facing out into the main restaurant and occupied entirely by single, middle aged men. Before I realised my mistake it was too late. I'd been identified as one of them and led gently to be deposited in the arctic of solo dining.
I'm not sure who was more on show; us or the inane works party we were facing. A works party dinner on a Tuesday night, oh what fun! I won't go into detail, suffice to say that they were definitely having a wilder time than the banquette of solo diners in silent judgement opposite.
The menu is generic brasserie, the quality matches, tonight at least. I tried first for a steak hache, before being informed “we can't serve below medium rare I'm afraid…” glad at least that they acknowledge why they're unable to serve that simplest of brasserie dishes served at anything less than a medium rare (you're not allowed to serve at less than medium rare unless it's minced on the premises…), sad because it was all I was looking for.
In the absence of home chopped steak I went for the onglet frites, served with a garlic butter and little else. Not bad. The solo diner in me couldn't complain at a single mouthful. Sure it wasn't the best steak i've eaten in my life, but nor was it meant to be. For the price, I could definitely have done with a thicker or more substantial slab. Served with a passible fruity Pinot Noir, it wasn't a bad experience, but the atmosphere leaves something to be desired for the solo diner.
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